Software as a Service, commonly referred to as SaaS, is a innovative modern technique of providing software services in a manner which is completely different from the conventional traditional way. Conventionally, software is installed in a computer or device after acquiring it from a manufacturer or dealer and only then can it be used. However the absence of this need to install the software is what differentiates SaaS from the conventional model.
In the SaaS model, the software is already present and installed in a centrally hosted server and no separate is required in the user’s device. After subscription is done the program developer provides access to the software and the user can easily get his things done. This model of software distribution is considered by many to be the future and here are 9 staggering reasons to start using SaaS from today:
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9 Staggering Reasons To Start Using Software as a Service (SaaS)
1. Competitiveness of the Market
The first and most important advantage from a customer’s view point of SaaS application is its highly competitive market with many different companies vying for a place. This competitiveness leads to multiple advantages that will be duly mentioned below and thus becomes the all important advantage. From a vendor point of view too it becomes beneficial even though it means more competition because a competitive market always encourages new talent and new ideas thereby allowing them a great opportunity to be a revolutionary apple themselves if and when they successfully recruit such talent.
Innovativeness as already mentioned above from a vendor’s perspective is just as advantageous to a customer. When the company as a result of competition finds new ways to tackle age old tricky problems more efficiently it is going to benefit the customer just as much as it would benefit the vendor. This innovativeness while securing more clients and more money to the vendor provides the customer with better efficiency of operations to the customer.
3. Lower Cost
Lower Cost of the software when compared to the conventional model of software distribution is another major advantage from a customer’s point of view. In the conventional model there exists both pre and post purchase costs. Pre purchase costs involves maintaining the proper hardware for the software or acquiring them and similar costs.
Purchase costs refers to the cost of the licensing of the software along with its actual base price and post purchase costs would be all those costs to keep the program up and running all the time by maintaining IT officials etc and also includes costs for back end programming to the software for increasing scalability which has to be done by skilled efficient programmers.
The costs do not exist in the SaaS model. The program does not require pre purchase costs or post purchase costs. The program is almost always operable from any device which can effectively use a browser eliminating the need for a high end machine and all maintenance of the software is done by the developers itself reducing cost there too.
This however does not mean the SaaS providers get lower profits. The providers have a great economy of operations because of the scale of use of the software i.e. they have a ton of customers and thus they do recuperate all costs and also earn profits out of this even though provide the software at a lower cost.
We touched upon scalability with reference to costs in a previous paragraph. Scalability can be regarded as a function of how much the program can be made to change according to the needs of the customers. The conventional model has lesser scalability even if back end additional programming can be done. This is because the software was meant for a fixed purpose and was created with that strict boundary. However the SaaS model is different.
It provides the customer with a wide variety of subscription models with varying capacities and benefits from the get go. So when one subscription model is not what is apt for the business the next model can be adopted easily by paying a higher subscription fee. This is so because the developers understand the different varied needs of different customers and has purposefully made large boundaries which can be extended by a customer in need with a higher subscription model.
5. Bailing Out
The heading may seem odd but it describes this advantage properly. In the conventional model once you buy the software and incur the pre and post purchase costs they are more less sunk cost with the exception of reducing costs by firing the IT guy. All other costs such as for the machine cannot be reversed or done away with. Thus in the conventional model the investment in the software once done does not offer a happy way out.
However in the SaaS model a dissatisfied customer can bail out by choosing not to subscribe further and he will not have incurred any sunk cost mentioned above and an IT guy gets to keep his job. An argument against this would be the trial period offered by the conventional software, however it has to be understood that 30 days trial will not be a real test of how the program would be truly effective when the initial “I am loving it” stage recedes and when the customer understands its still not enough.
6. Customer-Vendor Relations
This is a huge advantage brought about by the SaaS model. In this model, the customer and vendor are in constant communication or correspondence of one nature or the other and each and every need of both the parties are efficiently addressed. More importantly a customer provides the information to the vendor on what more he expects from the program allowing for rapid program development which benefits the customers by getting him what he wants and the vendor by gaining more customers as the program gets better and better.
7. Better Services
The SaaS model even though not specifically tailor made for one company or business does provide better services to the customer. Two chief examples apart from what’s mentioned above and what will be subsequently discussed in detail is the Maintenance capabilities and the Integration capabilities of the software.
The program is constantly maintained and moreover update by a dedicated set of programmers under the employment of the developers whereas updates to the conventional model is not that effective. Also the program provides seamless integrations with most programs that are used complementarily in the industry thereby providing for more efficiency.
8. Accessibility and Mobility
This can be considered as the most important advantage of the SaaS model. In the conventional model a software is installed in one device and is used from that device. If this is a centrally hosted server for the entire business, all well and fine access is possible even remotely and there is great accessibility as the program can be accessed from anywhere and thus facilitating mobility which is taking away the need for a guy to sit hunched over the device.
But the difference lies in the costs. While the conventional guys invest a lot of money into the remote capabilities the SaaS guys just pay a subscription fee sidelining all such huge payments and gets more accessibility and mobility at lower costs. More accessibility and mobility by virtue of the fact that in SaaS model most devices with browsers are automatically capable of using the service whereas in the conventional model that has to be specifically provided for.
9. Better Coordination and Organisation
This is an extension of the previous section but important enough to be considered as a separate advantage. When there is higher mobility and accessibility by extension there arises a better coordination of activities with workmen being able to coordinate their work from anywhere and at anytime.
Along with this better organisation in the form of data and manpower may also be considered. The data is very systematically stored in the developer’s server and is safe, secure and easily accessible. The software in question usually allows for clear cut demarcation of the work force into who does what and who doesn’t do what thereby creating a strict chain required for effective organisations and also as already mentioned coordination.
Summing up the SaaS model does have many attractive advantages over the conventional model. However this shall not be used to assume it only has advantages. The disadvantages as with everything is also there, with lack of autonomy over your own data being the primary one. However when weighing both sides it is somewhat evident what a person’s conclusion would be.